Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging parents to make sure their children know how to stay safe and enjoy the water this summer.
Whether heading abroad this summer or opting for a staycation, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will head to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk. Those of us who will be venturing abroad for their summer holiday, may find themselves using non-lifeguarded pools and therefore be at risk if they do not have the necessary water safety skills.
Figures indicate that around 25 per cent of primary pupils leave school unable to swim, and experts fear that as a result of the pandemic many young people lacking the ability to swim or self-rescue.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting RLSS UK’s national Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from 17-24 June 2023.
Drowning Prevention Week aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety.
Over 300 people accidentally drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer injury, sometimes life-changing, when they survive drowning.
James Sutherland, Road and Water Safety Officer said: “We are proud to play our part in ensuring our families have a safe summer. We recognise how vitally important it is for children to know how to stay safe near water and urge everyone to access RLSS UK’s free water safety resources on the Charity’s website, which include fantastic theme week lesson plans to allow schools to incorporate the resources into existing lessons. We want everyone to enjoy all of the fun and benefits of being in and around water but be educated on how to do that safely.”
The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Charity Director Lee Heard, said: “The UK’s beautiful waterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level. But we’re urging people to educate themselves and others on how to enjoy water safely and prevent a fun day out ending in tragedy.
“The Drowning Prevention Week campaign is crucial this year. In recent years, young people have missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.
“RLSS UK believes that through free, accessible education and training, everyone can enjoy water safely. We urge as many parents as possible to get involved with the campaign, use our free online resources, and give their children the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.”
Visit www.rlss.org.uk/DPW to access the Charity’s free water safety resources.